Archives for October 2010

“What’s that, you ask…why it’s a Souffle of course!”

Happy Friday everyone! I hope y’all are looking forward to this weekend as much as I am! I need much rest and relaxation after this week! Well, I thought I’d kick off the weekend in style with another fall recipe featuring…the great and almighty Pumpkin, yet once again. I told you I really like my pumpkin once fall rolls around…so I am sorry about the pumpkin overload. Today was the first day of beautiful cold weather here in Austin, which of course got me into the baking mood…and all I could think about after my third class of the day is how I wanted to go home and curl up on the couch with the Food Network on t.v. and the smell of pumpkin in the oven. I began to reminisce about some fall desserts last year that I tried my hand at and my pumpkin souffle recipe automatically came to mind. However, this time I decided with all that homemade apple butter I made a while back, that I would put a spin on my souffle instead, and create little individual apple butter pumpkin souffles. While I was making these souffles, my sis Les popped into the kitchen as per usual to ask me what I was cooking up. When I told her, she looked at me and asked, “So how are you going to make it a souffle?” I then retorted with some made-up/semi-knowledge,half-intelligent reply: “Well, I make the dish a souffle by adding egg whites to the batter, which makes the dish “light and airy”.” To check my accuracy I used my trusty Mac dictionary which confirmed my half-baked knowledge, defining souffle as: a light, spongy dish made typically by adding flavored egg yolks to stiffly beaten egg whites. Anyways…that is a bit of my teaching lesson for today! The only thing about souffles is that I never catch them in all of their beauty before they fall apart…so for this reason I will call them my “fallen” souffles. They are beautiful and delicious regardless! I hope y’all enjoy!


Fallen Apple Buh-da Pumpkin Souffles

3 egg whites
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 c. apple butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs. Mexican vanilla
1/2 c. milk ( I used vanilla flavored almond milk because it was the only thing I had in the kitchen)

1. Preheat the oven to 380 F.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites together on high speed until they form stiff “white mountain” peaks.
3. Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl.
4. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining ingredients together until fully incorporated.
5. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Continue to fold the egg whites in 1/3 batches until completely folded into the pumpkin mixture.
6. Pour the mixture into small individual ramekins or coffee cups sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
7. Place the ramekins on a baking tray and pop them into the oven.
8. Bake for 35-45 minutes (Make sure that you DO NOT open the oven, use the oven light to look at the souffles: if you open the oven the souffles will deflate…or you could just say hell with it!).

Tip: I would dust these with a little powdered sugar and cinnamon and top them with some whip cream!

The Great Pumpkin Hunt!

Greetings everyone! Well, it’s almost November and I can still wear flip-flops and shorts to school on any given day…sweating as I “truck it” from class to class…water bottle in hand and sun-shades on full blast! Nevertheless, it is “fall” and I am in that fall spirit…regardless of whether or not leaves are falling from the trees, or if there is a winter chill in the air. I am embracing the season…which means a bundle of holiday desserts featuring my all time favorite…PUMPKIN…or does it? Yesterday, as I was planning to begin the season with my all time signature recipe for pumpkin bread, I was met with an unexpected grocery shopping disaster that almost sent my heart into shock (I swear I heard it stop!). Anyway, I went to Central Market for one thing and one thing only, the key ingredient for my bread…pumpkin. However, as I arrived at the baking aisle I noticed that some dirty grocery thief had played a sick joke and heisted all of the canned pumpkin. Trying to crack the case, I enlisted the help of the dairy man…who could see the question written all over my face: “Do you have any canned pumpkin?” I knew something was wrong as he gave me that “Oh, you haven’t heard” hopeless chuckle, then he said it: “Apparently, there is some sort of nation wide pumpkin shortage.” Pumpkin shortage or not, I had to have my pumpkin bread! So, I set out on a wild pumpkin chase hitting up the unreliable Target (I honestly don’t know what I was thinking…really?). My last hope was the tiny farmer’s market/grocery store. I crossed my finger…closed my eyes, and there they sat in a pretty little row on the bottom shelve of the baking aisle…the last three cans of pumpkin in the city of Austin! And you know what…I bought all three! I know, I know I’m greedy, and there is probably a little old lady out there searching for a can of pumpkin at this moment, just so that her grandchildren can enjoy her pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Okay, so I am exaggerating just a “little” bit, but what can I say? Without this pumpkin I wouldn’t have been able to share this scrumptious recipe with you all. I even wrapped them in cute little packages… I bought them a while ago at Michael’s from the Paula Deen kitchen collection…so cute! Family members and friends…get ready because these might be in your stocking’s this year as well…I will have my little elves personally deliver them!


Mini Pumpkin Walnut Loaves w/ Powdered Sugar Glaze

Wet Ingredients:
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. Mexican vanilla
Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. + 1 Tbs. whole wheat flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. chopped walnut pieces

1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 1/2 tsp. water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray 4 mini loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Using an electric mixer, combine all of the wet ingredients.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
5. With the electric mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated.
6. Add the walnuts and mix.
7. Pour the batter into each of the 4 mini loaf pans.
8. Bake in the oven for 48-50 minutes.
9. Take the mini’s out of the oven and allow them to cool completely.
10. Make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar and water together in a mixing bowl.
11. Drizzle each mini with a good amount of powdered sugar glaze and Enjoy!

*Tip: I pop mine into the microwave and eat with butter and a glass of milk…nothing better (well…maybe a little cream cheese, but the possibilities are endless).

How bout’ them apples?

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend, I know I sure did. While I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen this weekend, I did enjoy some fabulous Italian food at Festa Italiana in Houston. My mom and I weren’t able to catch our breaths as we practically devoured several helpings of stuffed artichokes and Italian green beans…not to mention a few glasses of wine. Anyways…while I was in Houston, I visited my Mamaw (my grandmother). Of course I had to visit her in the wee hours of the morning so I could take advantage of a good cup of coffee, not to mention an outstanding breakfast featuring an assortment of fresh fruit, and one killer omelet! Usually, I would request her signature biscuits…but since it was just me I figured I could wait until the next big breakfast crowd rolled into town (which usually consists of several of my cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. etc.). You would too if you had one bite of her homemade biscuits. To get to the point, I really enjoy jam, or butter, or apple jam/butter (whatever you want to call it), which I usually slather on my biscuit with a bit of spray butter. While the biscuits were missing, this was no reason to dismiss the apple butter. When I say I like something…I mean I really like it. Ever since I was little I have always eaten my eggs with apple butter, it’s just sooooo good…don’t judge…it’s my little fetish. I just don’t know how I ever developed it. Luckily, I can always count on Mamaw to have a large jar of the good stuff hanging out in her refrigerator, just waiting to be slathered on each bite of my meal. Because it is Fall season, anything with apples just seems to be calling my name. I guess it’s just the thought that you get about a warm slice of apple pie on a cold winter day, curled up in front of the fireplace listening to Frank Sinatra! I love apple butter so much, I went out on a whim and decided to whip up a batch of my own, which is much cheaper than buying the jarred stuff from the store. All of you family members out there better be prepared, because ya’ll are all getting this stuff as Christmas gifts…and it will really rock your socks. I hope everyone enjoys this delectable delight of cinnamon, brown sugary goodness. I recommend serving it with any kind of breakfast bread (i.e. biscuits, Eggo’s, toast, even with some pumpkin or banana bread with a dab of cream cheese). MANGIA!

Overnight Homemade Apple Butter

7 pink lady apples ( or any other sweet/tart apple you prefer, peeled, cored, and cut into even slices)*
2 1/2 c. apple juice
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbs. Mexican Vanilla (You can get the imitation stuff, but the Mexican Vanilla is simply the BEST: you can usually find it at Fiesta or your local grocery store)

1. Place all of the ingredients into a slow cooker/crock pot and combine well with a spatula.
2. Turn the slow cooker on low for 12-14 hours.
3. Turn the slow cooker off and allow the mixture to cool.
4. Slide the skin off of each apple slice and discard.
5. Transfer the entire apple mixture to a food processor and puree.
6. Put the apple butter into individual canning jars and enjoy!

* I peeled the apples after they were done, the skin practically falls right off and you can throw it away. I also used an apple slicer to cut and core the apples, it’s pretty quick and simple.

Wordless Wednesday

White Chili:

1 lb. ground turkey
1 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 4 oz. cans Hatch mild diced green chiles
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 15 oz. can Cannelini beans, rinsed
3 1/2- 4 c. Chicken Broth
salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish Optional: Greek yogurt, cilantro, lime wedge, heaping side of buttered jalapeno cornbread (see my recipe archives)

1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven, or medium saute pan.
2. Add onion, celery, garlic, green chiles, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes.
3. Add cumin, chili powder, and oregano, cook until fragrant.
4. Add ground turkey and cook until meat is completely cooked.
5. Add white beans and chicken broth. Cook partially covered stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
6. Adjust seasoning and continue simmering until warm, about 5 minutes.


“SALSA”-FIED Barbecue Sauce

Hello all! Happy Monday. I hope everyone’s weekend was just swell! Well…lets get down to business, with today’s topic: BBQ Sauce. I have mentioned previously that I am really into dipping my food…into just about anything…BBQ sauce being one of the top dips on my list. In fact, it just might be #1 or a close tie with my tzatziki sauce. I just love the taste of BBQ sauce, you know…that tangy, sweet, succulent flavor that you can baste a whole roasted chicken in. Personally I like it on just about any kind of meat product…just give me a slab of fall-off the bone pork ribs and a heaping side of fresh coleslaw and after a few hours I will have eaten my body weight. Anyways…you get the jist, BBQ sauce= LOVE! Personally, I have always wanted to create my own barbecue sauce, and yesterday, as I was sitting at the kitchen table craving some down-home, finger-licking, Texas barbecue, I decided to whip up a batch of the stuff. This time, I wanted to be creative and experiment with my sauce, which I was forced to do because I was surprisingly out of canned diced tomatoes for the base of the sauce. Naturally, I began digging around in my refrigerator and, after sifting through an endless supply of salad dressing and random condiments, I saw it…a sparkling jar of Frontera Jalapeno Cilantro Salsa that I had purchased last week and forgotten. What do you know? The main ingredients are diced tomatoes…who would have thought? It was practically a beacon of light, reaching out and saying, “Please, transform me into something even better than I already am!” Well, if I must say I have really branched out beyond my limits with this one! BINGO! The salsa makes this sauce a unique winner! This is what I came up with and I hope ya’ll enjoy it. I would use it to baste a roasted chicken, rack of ribs, or as a sauce for pulled pork. Next time you have a backyard BBQ don’t forget this simple and classic ingredient, that is sure to lighten up your taste buds!

extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 16 oz. jar Frontera Jalapeno Cilantro Salsa
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. ketchup
1 Tbs. balsalmic vinegar
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat a large skillet with evoo over med-high heat.
2. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned.
3. Add the salsa to the skillet and heat through, about 1 minute.
4. Add the brown sugar to the skillet and combine.
5. Let the flavors meld together for about 5 minutes.
6. Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet and stir until fully incorporated.
7. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or longer if you prefer.